Scriptural Gem for May 2013

In Isaiah 40:31 we read: 'But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint'

Many Christians refer to this verse as a verse which has inspired them from time to time and given them new motivation and impetus in their Christian walk. However, there is a deeper meaning in the original Hebrew which challenges us with a much stronger message. The word translated 'renew' in this verse is the Hebrew word 'Chalaph'. This word is also used in Isaiah 2:18: '...and the idols will be totally abolished'.

The word 'Chalaph' means 'to vanish', 'be abolished', 'pass away' and is also translated 'substitute'. This is profound. Far from our strength being 'renewed' or 'restored' or given a 'fresh injection' by God, our strength has to be abolished and pass away as we transfer our trust to God. This actually fits in much better with the rest of the verse where we see those trusting or relying on God soaring like eagles, running and not growing weary and walking without fainting. Good luck with doing that in your own strength, even if it has been 'reconditioned'.

The message of this verse in the original Hebrew is that you abandon yourself to God. You do not trust in Him to pump up your strength again. Your strength is no longer in the picture - it has passed away and you have substituted it with God's strength. Otherwise friends, God is just an air hose at a fuel station where you go when your tyres are a bit deflated and after you have pumped them up, you speed off again...God is not and will not allow Himself to be that. You are either running on your own strength or His. He does not revamp or recondition your own strength.

Have you 'exchanged' your strength for His dear friend? Let us ask God's forgiveness for treating Him like an air hose, acknowledge the inadequecy of our own strength and start truly running on His! Amen